Veggie Burger

15 Jul

Veggie Burger HeavenI was having tea today with Goddessmoments and her Spouse. As we were chatting about food, he said something that made me think about what I miss most about being a carnivore. I think its a great juicy burger, with melted cheddar on top, in a beautiful bun and may be some slices of avo or tomato. Pure heaven. All those different tastes and textures, the satisfaction of a handheld meal, juices dripping everywhere. But I dont eat meat, and so I wont ever have that kind of burger again. But, this veggie burger more than makes up for any sense of loss I might have!

This is scrummy yummy. It can be vegan if you leave out the cheese (or use soy cheese) and its so full of wonderful, healthy vegetables and grains. I use quinoa in this recipe – the wonder grain! It has the most complete proteins of any grain, and it is full of vitamins and minerals – from iron to vitamin e to amino acids. And it tastes wonderful too! Nutty and creamy at the same time.Its a really useful tool for a vegan diet because it adds protein from a surprising source, and its extremely well tolerated, even by those who cannot eat wheat. I love it. I even use it in place of couscous and rice on occasion.

While your quinoa is cooking, you roast a few aubergines, garlic and some nuts. Fry up some mushrooms. I usually throw everything in one large bowl, and mince with my immersion blender (oh how I love thee, let me count the ways!). It comes out tasting really “meaty” in a good way, and its incredibly satisfying. Because everything is cooked or prepped before being formed into patties, the final fry up is really to create a lovely burnt sticky caramelised crust. You could probably do this in the oven as well, though I have never tried. These freeze really well, by the way. Layer in greaseproof paper, and pack away in a plastic container, and use within 6 months.

For about 8 – 10 burger patties, you will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water plus extra to soak
  • salt
  • 5 baby aubergines (or 1 medium – 1/2 large), sliced in half
  • 1 head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • Small packet shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed, and sliced
  • 6 – 7 medium portobello mushrooms (250 g packet), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Italian mixed herbs (or herbes de Provence or any other herb that you like – basil, rosemary, thyme)
  • truffle oil (optional)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
  • Handful of fresh herbs, minced fine (optional – use what you like – basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, parsley, mint even)
  • Soy (optional to taste)
  • pepper

To serve, you will need hamburger buns, cheese (optional), lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion (your choice of any or all or none!), some mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickle… you get the drift!

Preheat your oven to about 220C.

First start off by soaking the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, cover the quinoa with water, and let stand for 15 minutes or so. This softens the grain, and also encourages the hard outer casing to split. A good thing!

Meanwhile, split your baby aubergines (or slice your medium/large one), and arrange, skin side down, on a baking tin that has been lined with baking paper. Slice the top of a head of garlic, and place on tin. Lightly oil and salt the aubergines and garlic and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. About 3 – 4 minutes before they are done, flip them over, and sprinkle the cashew nuts onto the baking tin. You want the cashew nuts to toast lightly, but not really to burn.

When your quinoa has stood for 15 minutes, drain, put back into saucepan, and add 1 1/2 cups of water, and a bit of salt. Cover the pan, and bring to the boil over high heat, and then lower heat and simmer the quinoa, covered, for about 15 minutes. You will know when its done when most of the water has boiled off, and the quinoa has fluffed up and doubled in size. Take off heat, and leave covered for at least five minutes.

Once your aubergines, garlic and cashews have been taken out of the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, add sunflower and sesame seeds to a large mixing bowl, and grate in the carrot. Add the cooled aubergines, the garlic cloves (pop them out of their papery casing), and the cashew nuts.

Go back to your quinoa, fluff it up a bit, and measure out 1 1/2 – 2 cups. If there is any left over, it freezes well and is a wonderful addition to any soup. Add the measured quinoa to the large mixing bowl.

Prepare your mushrooms. Pour a little olive oil into a medium – large frying pan, and add the shiitake mushrooms. I was taught that shiitake mushrooms need quite a while to cook. You need to slice them thinly (I also de-stem them) and leave them over low heat to brown around the edges. They will melt, and get soft, and reduce in size. Dont mix them in the pan too much, just let the heat and the oil and the mushrooms do what they know how to do. It should take about 10 minutes or so.

Once the shiitakes have been well browned, add the portobello mushrooms (still on low heat), and stir to combine. If you want, sprinkle a little truffle oil over, and let cook for about 5 minutes or so, stirring every now and then. Add some balsamic vinegar, the tomato paste and Dijon mustard, and stir to combine. The portobellos should have browned a little and reduced in size. Add the mushrooms to the mixing bowl.

Grate the cheese into the bowl if you are using.

With your immersion blender, process everything in the mixing bowl. Do it in short sharp bursts because you want to make sure you combine and chop most everything very fine without pureeing it into complete oblivion. You can use a food processor if you like. Again, short sharp bursts.

Once everything has been combined to your liking, taste. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the minced herbs, if you like. I often add some soy sauce for deeper darker flavour.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

About fifteen to twenty minutes before you are ready to eat, heat a little olive oil in a shallow non stick frying pan over low heat. Take the burger mix out of the fridge, and form thin (about half an inch to an inch maximum) patties with your hands. Fry up to three patties at a time, flipping only once or twice. It should take you about 10 – 15 minutes to get a glistening dark brown exterior. You wont need much oil. A few minutes before you are serving, flip a final time and slice some old mature cheddar (or not) over the burger, and let it melt a bit.

Toast your hamburger buns, add the fixins – mayo, ketchup, mustard, fresh veg. Eat with your hands, and mop up any fallen bits and juices with your bread. Its that good.

5 Responses to “Veggie Burger”

  1. goddessmoments July 16, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    The satisfaction of a handheld meal šŸ™‚ Love this šŸ™‚ And I took pics of dem dat food of yours ( tho you asked me not to šŸ™‚ ) and have posted :-p xox

    • delectableblog July 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

      Aiyoh, thank you goddess. Theyre beautiful.

      • Juarez Lowe July 17, 2010 at 7:36 am #

        Great recipe! The burgers turned out really good!

      • delectableblog July 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

        Yay! Thank you for trying them out Juarez šŸ™‚ Very happy to hear it šŸ™‚

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. About Good Food And Me… | Goddessmoments's Blog - July 30, 2010

    […] scrummiest veggie burgers – full of quinoa and aubergines and mushrooms Ā – and good healthy […]

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